Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

The problem

I am moving my server and main development system out of a home office into rented office space.  As I'm only going to be in the office two of three days a week, and being a hippy environmental type, I wanted to ensure my file server was not always switched on.  Anything to reduce my carbon footprint a fraction.

The solution

WakeOnLan was the perfect solution I thought.  I configured the server in the BIOS to start up on a Wake On LAN packet.  With this I can turn on the server, and once the server is running I can use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) or VNC to remotely connect (I'll configure a proper VPN later).  Once I finish using the server I can use RDP to turn off the server again.

It all worked on the local LAN, but getting it working remotely across the Internet was slightly more work.  Thanks to Googling some excellent articles it only took around 90 minutes to figure it all out.  The Linksys router was the main stumbling block in my setup.

Basically, WakeOnLan uses broadcast technology to send a 'magic packet' to all computers on the LAN.  This packet contains the unique MAC address of the LAN card belonging to the PC you wish to turn on.  Some forums/blogs suggest port forwarding or port triggering to a specific IP address but neither work on the WRT54G.  As the server will not have an IP address if it is not switched on (as the O/S configures this) you cannot port forward in the usual manner. It is possible to port forward to ALL PCs. However, when using the default subnet of 255.255.255.0 the WRT54G does not allow port forwarding to the broadcast address, xxx.xxx.xxx.255. The web interface simply won't allow you to enter xxx.xxx.xxx.255 as a destination IP address.

Configuring the router

Fortunately I found this blog n01getsout.com which provided the solution. In the Linksys web configuration, you have to specify the subnet for the LAN DHCP pool as 255.255.255.128.  You then configure the port forward (on any port, 5850 was one suggestion of a free port) to forward to xxx.xxx.xxx.127 which will forward the magic packet to all PCs on the network.  The MAC address within the packet ensures that only that the specified PC turns on. Note: the WakeOnLan packet is not port specific so the destination port does not actually matter.

Wake On LAN utility (to send the magic packet)

The last step is to obtain a WakeOnLan utility to send the magic packet.  If you're running Windows there is a great utility from depicus.com which does exactly what you need.  You enter the MAC address of your PC (in a command window, ipconfig /all, it is listed as physical address), the public IP allocated by your ISP (I used whatismyipaddress.com for this), a subnet of 255.255.255.255, and the remote port number you configured in your router for port forwarding.

And that was it - now I can remotely switch on my server, do some work and then turn it off when I'm finished.

Print | posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 9:45 AM

Feedback

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Marc at 3/29/2007 11:39 AM Gravatar
Hi,
thanks for your great article.
However, it seems that not all circumstances are covered, because my setup does not work. I can wake inside the LAN. Waking from WAN does not work. What Linksys Firmware Version did you use ?

Cheers...

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Liam Westley at 3/29/2007 12:51 PM Gravatar
Marc - here's the details from my LinkSys web interface;

Hardware Version: WRT54GX
Firmware Version: 1.02.06
Boot Version: 2.01.08

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Alex at 5/5/2007 6:51 AM Gravatar
Im currently using a WRT54GL v1.1 with firmware version 4.30.5.

I just got my laptop setup to use the microsoft remote desktop so that I can take it on the road, and still access my desktop at home.

Im not using Linux or anything except Microsoft. Will this work for me?

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Liam at 5/7/2007 8:51 PM Gravatar
Alex,

I can't see a problem with it working. The router isn't a huge issue, the important bit is to configure your desktop PC so that it wakes on LAN.

You can test the basic Wake on LAN setup on your local LAN, with no router being involved, before heading off on the road to see if it works via port forwarding to a broadcast address.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Sebastien at 8/8/2007 4:28 PM Gravatar
Hey Liam,
Great post - very clear.I still have few questions ....

- I did not really get the subnet change ... but I will get past that :)

- you did not mention the fact of the IP (if you had a dynamic one or a static one).I have a dynamic one and wanted to check if you tried this or not. (I know linksys is using the dyndns service, among others and see how good it was)

- do you know if the WOL will work with an set of Ethernet bridge over power AC ? You know the thingy you can plug on the wall and re-wired somewhere else using the power outlet ?

Thanks a lot,

best

Sebastien

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Liam Westley at 8/12/2007 8:27 PM Gravatar
Sebastien,

A dynamic IP address is no block, use a service such as dyndns. I have used no-ip.com in the past, they have a free version and a Windows service for keeping your IP address current.

I haven't tried WOL on an AC Ethernet system, but I cannot think of any reason that this would not work. I believe it acts as a standard Ethernet network so the broadcast packets used by WOL should function as for a wired or wireless network.

Thanks

Liam

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Brian Mark at 1/26/2008 3:40 PM Gravatar
Hi Liam,

Very good post - thanks for sharing.

I'm fairly confident I have the routing side of this straight, I can not determine if my server(s) hardware is configured appropriately.

I've ensure the BIOS for each of my destined WOL pc's are configured WOL as enabled.

I'm using TrendNet TEG-PCITXR network adapters and the spec says they support WOL.

I am anticipating that I need to make some physical connection from the network interface to the motherboard ... but when I study the NIC I can't find any jumpers that or any description of WOL.

Consequently, I am not connecting the card to the motherboard - just pci slot.

And I can not get my servers to wake up.

Thanks for your assistance,
Brian

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Liam Westley at 1/29/2008 10:22 AM Gravatar
Brian,

I had a quick peek at the documentation for the TrendNet adapter and agree - no WOL pins. I've seen these pins on network adapters I've had in the past (they also came with the WOL cable for connecting to the motherboard).

However, on my Shuttle SB51G BIOS I didn't actually have an option called 'Wake on LAN' for the integrated network card. Instead there was an option called 'Wake-up via PCI card' and that did the trick.

It's quite possible that the TrendNet card supports WOL via this PCI spec 2.2 feature (it is listed as being a PCI 2.2 card). This may be the 'modern' way of doing WOL.

Hope that helps,

Liam

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by SonicASUK at 3/12/2008 2:32 AM Gravatar
Hi Liam,
Fantastic faq you have made here ive been looking for something like this for some time now :D

However i have followed the instructions and it dosent work for me (internal works fine but then you are broadcasting on the same subnet), does this work with the newer firmware ? i have Firmware Version: v7.00.4 on a WRT54G router.

1) changed the dhcp to xxx.xxx.xxx.128

2) configured port forwarding for xxx.xxx.xxx.127 port 5850.

3) found mac addys for pcs

4) tried the online dipicus.com wol tool no joy.

5) looked in the routers log and i see packets coming in from the website on port 5850

or should i be using the command line version of wol?

or is there something stupid i have forgotten?

huge thanks in advance.

Sonic

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Dousin at 5/2/2008 11:08 AM Gravatar
Hi everybody,
I have the same problem, solution described above doesn't seem to work with Firmware Version: v7.00.4 on a WRT54G. The only possibility, how to make it work is, to configure the LAN adapter to use dhcp --> it creates an arp record in router dhcp clients table. But this record expirates after some time (max 7 days), moreover, I am afraid, that there is no possibility to guarantee, that the local IP adress assigned to the server does not change. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks Dousin

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Eddie Ng at 6/26/2008 5:11 AM Gravatar
Does it have an option to configure static ARP? If it does, assign static IP to your PC and create a static ARP entry in your router such that the PC MAC is statically mapped to the PC IP address.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Dane at 7/6/2008 4:23 PM Gravatar
What a useful post! Thanks so much. I do have one problem though... I am on a DSL connection, and my IP address changes several times daily. No-ip.com looks like a great service, but obviously it's not going to work if my computer is on standby... :) Any thoughts on how to get around this? Thanks!

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Dane at 7/7/2008 4:13 AM Gravatar
Ah... sorry for not doing my research before asking above... all you have to do in such a situation is set your modem to "bridged" configuration and have your router (which hopefully supports dynamic dns!) handle the PPPoE.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by agpe at 8/9/2008 12:27 AM Gravatar
Hi,
I have a Linksys WRT54G too, but I can't afford to change my subnet mask to 255.255.255.128 since I have IP addresses out of that range.
But I found an easy way to create a port forward with a 255 value: using Firefox with an extension called "Tamper data" I was able to capture the values sent to the router by the page.
This way I "tampered" the field value after pressing the "Save settings" button, and assigned a new value of 255. It works like a charm!
Now I have broadcast and kept my IP addresses.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by TheMan at 8/9/2008 7:55 PM Gravatar
Awesome instructions! Thanks for posting. Works great with the Linksys RT31P2

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by mokamoka at 2/1/2009 11:40 AM Gravatar
thanks for information. it realy works. It's better solution, then trying to overgo standart router limitations(1-244) , i think

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by ratchet at 2/3/2009 11:30 PM Gravatar
mokamoka, can you please explain the sequence involved using Tamper Data? I'd tried this months ago but couldn't get it to work. I can Wake over the internet shortly after shutdown but then after the first ARP request it can't even wake the one PC. That is why I need to broadcast. Thank You!

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by rephorm at 3/1/2009 4:09 AM Gravatar
You can also temporarily disable javascript in order to get the port forwarding page to accept 255.

However I am in the same boat as several other posters. My firmware (v1.02.5) doesn't seem to forward the packet. (WoL works internally, but not externally)

Maybe this only works with a WRT4GX and not with plain G?

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Liam Westley at 3/2/2009 11:22 AM Gravatar
Afraid I can't help as only have WRT4GX, and the top google results come to same conclusion - it doesn't port forward the WoL packets.

Sorry,

Liam

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by srimals at 7/28/2009 11:33 PM Gravatar
Thanks a lot, it works on linksys RT31P2

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Nel at 10/3/2009 2:49 AM Gravatar
Hi,

i have a WAG160N but i cant get the wol packets to broadcast to all computers in the LAN. is there other firmware for WAG160N that have this feature? or how do i allow broadcast. i tried changing the subnet mask it does not work.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Ralph Martin at 10/24/2009 2:11 AM Gravatar
I have used address xxx.xxx.xxx.125 since 127 was not working for my iMac with Snow Leopard, but this is really valuable Information and I thank you for that, I have the WRT54G router and it is working like a champ

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Jecho at 11/8/2009 10:55 PM Gravatar
(I am using a WRT160N) I have tried the xxx.xxx.xxx.127 and xxx.xxx.xxx.125 but no result.
(can't do a broadcast over xxx.xxx.xxx.255, i will get the message that the range is from 1 to 254)
I tried everyhting.
As fare as i can retrieve, the router is losing his ARP entry after 4 to 5 minutes. Within that time, it is possible to wake up my pc over the internet. Outside that time, and it is not possible anymore.
I tried the wake on lan monitor, but i doen't see any broadcast passing by.
Any tips or tricks are welcome.
Thanks

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by James at 1/8/2010 9:13 PM Gravatar
Better to get a non Linksys router if you intend to mess around with WOL. Linksys seems to have disabled broadcast passing in their firmware. DD-WRT might be worth trying for those more adventurous.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by pat at 8/10/2010 7:14 AM Gravatar
Have thought about this and realized why this works and not for some. When you changed the subnet mask on the router you opened up the broadcast channel on the network. Normally a home lan would look like 255.255.255.0 for the subnet and a broadcast of 255.255.255.255 and the linksys wont allow the last three of the address to be 255. By altering the subnet to 255.255.255.128 you are splitting the network into two sections. Now the linksys will be able to set the 192.168.1.127 broadcast over the network; because, it is not 255. I think what a lot of people are having a problem is the subnet mask configuration on their systems. Change the subnet mask to the appropriate network (255.255.255.128) and it should work. The reason people are not complaining about the connection to the internet is they are on another network segment.

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by kneeL at 2/3/2011 9:33 AM Gravatar
These instructions helped me finally get WOL to work, but only locally on local subnet. Does not work over internet. I have double and triple checked everything

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by kneeL at 2/3/2011 9:39 AM Gravatar
Oh nevermind - Sorry for double post--

In my Cisco E3000 settings under Security I noticed "Filter Anonymous Internet requests" or something, was checked, and figured that was probably it, and unchecked it. Then, using these instructions, works on the 'Internet' setting, in the Dipicus WOL GUI tool now, as well as Local Subnet.

Thanks for the help -- Anyone having problems and gets it to work using cisco/linksys only on local subnet, try finding that option

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by ian at 4/26/2011 11:00 PM Gravatar
I have a linksys wag160n and I can wake my computer on LAN with no problems, however when I try to wake online it simply will not work. I have tried changing the subnet mask to 255.255.255.128 and forwarding the port to 192.168.1.127 and it simply will not connect. When I spoke to linksys support they said this router in not compatible with wake on wan but I have seen articles saying that it will work if I create a static arp entry.

I am using dyndns in my router which works fine for remote desktop but I cannot remotely power on my pc

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

(I checked DD-WRT and unfortunatly the wag160n is not compatible)

# re: Wake On LAN remotely via your broadband connection - with a LinkSys WRT54G

left by Cristian at 2/28/2012 7:45 AM Gravatar
Thank you for all information. Using broadcast address on subnet 192.168.100.0/25 works nicely on WRT54GC too. I wanted to keep the usual UDP port 9 on the magic packet though.
Thanks again,
Cristian
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